10 of the strangest side hustles you could start today

The concept of earning money dates isn’t anything new, but it has become something of a phenomenon of late. Having another gig alongside your ‘regular’ job is an increasingly popular way for people to earn a bit of extra money while perhaps also indulging in hobbies and passions.

This has led to a birth of unorthodox side hustle ideas. If you consider yourself a non-conformist who strays away from the rules, there are plenty of unconventional side hustles that promise to keep things interesting… Here are some of the strangest we’ve ever heard of.

#1. Become a professional ‘cuddler’

And no, we don’t mean cuddling a big teddy bear at night. As a professional cuddler, your job is to hold someone in your arms in return for an hourly rate – but it’s all completely innocent.

Aimed at people who just need a bit of comforting affection, cuddlers might sit with someone and watch a movie or listen to music in a completely platonic exchange. Cuddle Comfort is one of the best-known places to head to if you want to lend out your cuddling expertise.

#2. Rent a friend

Gone are the days of ‘money can’t buy you friends’. If you’re a charismatic character who gets on with everyone, you can lend your social skills to those in need of good company.

It might involve accompanying someone to the cinema or offering style advice on a shopping trip. The concept first became popular in Japan, and now it’s made waves in the US and has also sunk its roots in the UK too. Head over to RentAFriend.com for more info.

#3. Get paid to text

Yes, you read that correctly. Believe it or not, some companies will pay you to text customers back on their behalf.

Fun question-and-answer text services such as AQA 63336 are popular sources for this kind of income. If you’re constantly conquering at pub quizzes and consider yourself a pro when it comes to general knowledge questions, this one could be right up your street.

#4. Sell your hair

Okay, this one requires full commitment to the cause, but if you’ve got a head full of luscious locks, you can sell them.

Hair extensions are still as popular as ever, and wig makers are always in need of good hair, so if your mane is gleaming and you’re willing to have it chopped, you could cash in. Time to fetch the scissors?

#5. Take dogs out on a stroll

Do you consider yourself the ultimate dog person? Live the dream and become a professional dog walker. Nothing’s better than being paid to look after furry friends when you’re an animal aficionado.

Ask neighbours and friends if they know anyone who needs a hand looking after their pooches and put forward your expertise. Apps such as DogBuddy can also help you find dog owners in need of walkers.

#6. Rent your back garden out to campers

Who would have thought that having a campsite in your back garden could be a thing? If you’re lucky enough to own a home in an idyllic location, you could turn your scenic back garden into a money-making retreat.

Thanks to the likes of Airbnb, you can rent out your lawn to campers, giving them a cheap night’s stay and you some extra pocket money.

#7. Become a tour guide

Live in a tourist hotspot brimming with eager-to-learn holidaymakers? Consider becoming a tour guide and share your expertise in exchange for a bit of extra cash.

Living in a popular place could present a real money-making opportunity if you have a love for history and know your hometown like the back of your hand. Cash in on your passion by teaching visitors a valuable history lesson they’ll never forget.

There are training courses you can take to develop your skills further, National Careers Services might be able to offer more information.

#8. Turn your home into a film set

House proud and believe your home deserves a chance to be famous? You can rent it out to TV and film companies so they can use it in their next big hit. And no, you don’t have to own a huge mansion.

Send photos of your house to leading agencies such as Creative England and UK Film Locations and you could find you’re sitting on a gold mine.

#9. Prepare meals for neighbours

If you’re quite the master in the kitchen, why not showcase your culinary skills to a wider audience? Homemade is an online community that revolutionises this idea, allowing you to sell your food to your time-restrained neighbours.

Or, do it the old-fashioned way and ask around to see if anyone would be interested in your services. All it would take is to serve up a few extra portions of dinner at night, and you could earn yourself a steady second income.

#10. Rent out your driveway

If you live in a popular area where parking is costly there could be cash sitting right outside your front door. Parking is often a challenge for commuters, and your driveway could be a perfect solution for those who struggle to find a spot.

Maybe your house is near an airport, a well-known stadium, or based in the centre of a busy city. If you work away during the day or happen to have a spare space, renting it out to those in need could give your finances a huge boost.

Feeling inspired? Check out more side hustle ideas.

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